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296 blogs
  • 23 Feb 2016
    There is a scientific difference between training well for physical challenges and training really well for physical challenges. Luckily, you also don’t need to be on an elite athlete training programme to make the jump. In this guide I’ll share my 3 best tips for approaching any physical charity challenge, taken from my own training as an Ultra-Marathon Cyclist. 1. Know your heart   People who run marathons for charity, don’t just have a big heart metaphorically, they are also likely to have a big heart literally. Generally your body pumps blood round your body efficiently in one of two ways. Distance athletes like marathon runners develop a larger heart through training, so the amount of blood pumped with one beat will be slightly more. Athletes who have a strength focus will have a physically smaller heart, but the walls of the heart will be more muscular, so they pump blood with more force. Of course the ideal scenario is to have both size and muscle, so balance out your training with some strengthening exercises, or endurance exercise depending on your challenge. The only thing to be wary of for endurance athletes is not to carry excess muscle weight. For runners, planking is great because it works your core without adding too much muscle weight onto your legs. 2. Don’t get injured The majority of muscle injuries are entirely preventable and the more you look after your muscles and joints, the better condition you’ll be in for your challenge. The first tip here is obvious, make sure you warm up. It can be difficult if you lead a busy life, but it’s worth every minute. Secondly, stretching will help to prevent muscle tears. Make sure you stretch before you train and after, as each has its own purpose. Stretching prior to training makes your muscles more malleable. Think about the idea of stretching an elastic band to its limit when it’s cold – your muscles work in a very similar way.  Stretching after training has a warming effect on your muscles. This helps with circulation and takes away toxins like lactic acid that will have built up during your training. This makes you less likely to cramp after exercise. Drinking plenty water also helps with this. 3. Remember why you’re doing your challenge While physical strength is all well and good, remembering why you’re doing your challenge in the first place can really help - not only with training, but also during the toughest parts of your challenge. When you’re almost at breaking point, a bit of inspiration can really help you get through the most painful moments. Keeping your goal in mind will give you will power on those cold mornings when you need to go out and train. It’s not easy to get up and train, when you’re curled up warm in your bed. But thinking of the end result and why you’re raising the money in the first place always helps. Just think mind over matter!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield                 
    4682 Posted by Katie Ford
  • There is a scientific difference between training well for physical challenges and training really well for physical challenges. Luckily, you also don’t need to be on an elite athlete training programme to make the jump. In this guide I’ll share my 3 best tips for approaching any physical charity challenge, taken from my own training as an Ultra-Marathon Cyclist. 1. Know your heart   People who run marathons for charity, don’t just have a big heart metaphorically, they are also likely to have a big heart literally. Generally your body pumps blood round your body efficiently in one of two ways. Distance athletes like marathon runners develop a larger heart through training, so the amount of blood pumped with one beat will be slightly more. Athletes who have a strength focus will have a physically smaller heart, but the walls of the heart will be more muscular, so they pump blood with more force. Of course the ideal scenario is to have both size and muscle, so balance out your training with some strengthening exercises, or endurance exercise depending on your challenge. The only thing to be wary of for endurance athletes is not to carry excess muscle weight. For runners, planking is great because it works your core without adding too much muscle weight onto your legs. 2. Don’t get injured The majority of muscle injuries are entirely preventable and the more you look after your muscles and joints, the better condition you’ll be in for your challenge. The first tip here is obvious, make sure you warm up. It can be difficult if you lead a busy life, but it’s worth every minute. Secondly, stretching will help to prevent muscle tears. Make sure you stretch before you train and after, as each has its own purpose. Stretching prior to training makes your muscles more malleable. Think about the idea of stretching an elastic band to its limit when it’s cold – your muscles work in a very similar way.  Stretching after training has a warming effect on your muscles. This helps with circulation and takes away toxins like lactic acid that will have built up during your training. This makes you less likely to cramp after exercise. Drinking plenty water also helps with this. 3. Remember why you’re doing your challenge While physical strength is all well and good, remembering why you’re doing your challenge in the first place can really help - not only with training, but also during the toughest parts of your challenge. When you’re almost at breaking point, a bit of inspiration can really help you get through the most painful moments. Keeping your goal in mind will give you will power on those cold mornings when you need to go out and train. It’s not easy to get up and train, when you’re curled up warm in your bed. But thinking of the end result and why you’re raising the money in the first place always helps. Just think mind over matter!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield                 
    Feb 23, 2016 4682
  • 19 Feb 2016
    Spice work with local communities and services to unlock time and skills from the local community and to support people to give their time. We believe everyone has something to give and everyone’s time is equal. Elly Townsend, Senior Project Manager: Business Development, Evaluation and Learning, talks about how Spice do this using their innovative Time Credit currency to enable great levels of giving, how they develop local networks to reach many more people, and the impact this is having across the country. What are Time Credits? People can earn Time Credits by giving their time to local services e.g. youth clubs, sheltered housing schemes and community groups. One Time Credit is earned for each hour of time given and acts as a thank you for the contribution of time. People earn Time Credits in a wide range of ways, such as supporting or running community activities, sharing their skills, peer support and advocacy. People then spend Time Credits to access events, training and leisure activities provided by public, community and private organisations, or to thank others in turn. Spending activities are contributed by local attractions and businesses, or put on by organisations using Time Credits or individuals who earn them.They include physical activity such as swimming, gym use or walking groups, theatre shows, sports events, training courses and social activities such as community coffee mornings or trips/outings. Our network includes fantastic places like the Tower of London, Blackpool Tower, Fusion Leisure Centres as well as lots of smaller businesses. Spending Time Credits enables people to access this wide range of activities they may not be able to otherwise. Building local Time Credit networks Spice are commissioned by organisations who want to build Time Credits into their work and unlock local community assets. We work with all sorts of organisations from local authorities, housing associations and social care service providers, through to community development organisations and schools. We work with each lead partner organisation to set local priorities for every programme. Asking, how do they want to use Time Credits? What do they want to achieve? Who are they trying to involve and where? Once we are clear on this we can then start to build a local network of people using the Time Credits currency. With the lead partner we sign up local groups and organisations and we support them to change the way they work with people and communities. Many of our network partners are small charities and community groups who use Time Credits to attract new volunteers or to develop new projects. In 2014, we surveyed organisations to find out what the impact of Time Credits had been on their organisation. 75% reported seeing benefits within the first 12 months of being involved, 62% reported being able to make better use of skills and resources in communities and 48% said they were able to deliver improved services. One community group responsible for managing a community centre for the last few years described how Time Credits has re-invigorated this asset, changing the focus from being a ‘letting out’ of the community centre space to engaging the community in the centre, with smaller groups using the centre and Time Credits being used to increase awareness and reward people for getting involved. Spice recently completed a further evaluation of our programmes of work in England and Wales with independent evaluators Apteligen. It showed that Time Credits are also having a profound impact for individuals earning Time Credits: We’d always like to do more, so if you’ve got a great idea for Time Credits or you’d like to talk more about how they might work in your organisation and enable people to give time locally do get in touch with elly@justaddspice.org. We always interested in having a chat!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston    
    3390 Posted by Elly Townsend
  • Spice work with local communities and services to unlock time and skills from the local community and to support people to give their time. We believe everyone has something to give and everyone’s time is equal. Elly Townsend, Senior Project Manager: Business Development, Evaluation and Learning, talks about how Spice do this using their innovative Time Credit currency to enable great levels of giving, how they develop local networks to reach many more people, and the impact this is having across the country. What are Time Credits? People can earn Time Credits by giving their time to local services e.g. youth clubs, sheltered housing schemes and community groups. One Time Credit is earned for each hour of time given and acts as a thank you for the contribution of time. People earn Time Credits in a wide range of ways, such as supporting or running community activities, sharing their skills, peer support and advocacy. People then spend Time Credits to access events, training and leisure activities provided by public, community and private organisations, or to thank others in turn. Spending activities are contributed by local attractions and businesses, or put on by organisations using Time Credits or individuals who earn them.They include physical activity such as swimming, gym use or walking groups, theatre shows, sports events, training courses and social activities such as community coffee mornings or trips/outings. Our network includes fantastic places like the Tower of London, Blackpool Tower, Fusion Leisure Centres as well as lots of smaller businesses. Spending Time Credits enables people to access this wide range of activities they may not be able to otherwise. Building local Time Credit networks Spice are commissioned by organisations who want to build Time Credits into their work and unlock local community assets. We work with all sorts of organisations from local authorities, housing associations and social care service providers, through to community development organisations and schools. We work with each lead partner organisation to set local priorities for every programme. Asking, how do they want to use Time Credits? What do they want to achieve? Who are they trying to involve and where? Once we are clear on this we can then start to build a local network of people using the Time Credits currency. With the lead partner we sign up local groups and organisations and we support them to change the way they work with people and communities. Many of our network partners are small charities and community groups who use Time Credits to attract new volunteers or to develop new projects. In 2014, we surveyed organisations to find out what the impact of Time Credits had been on their organisation. 75% reported seeing benefits within the first 12 months of being involved, 62% reported being able to make better use of skills and resources in communities and 48% said they were able to deliver improved services. One community group responsible for managing a community centre for the last few years described how Time Credits has re-invigorated this asset, changing the focus from being a ‘letting out’ of the community centre space to engaging the community in the centre, with smaller groups using the centre and Time Credits being used to increase awareness and reward people for getting involved. Spice recently completed a further evaluation of our programmes of work in England and Wales with independent evaluators Apteligen. It showed that Time Credits are also having a profound impact for individuals earning Time Credits: We’d always like to do more, so if you’ve got a great idea for Time Credits or you’d like to talk more about how they might work in your organisation and enable people to give time locally do get in touch with elly@justaddspice.org. We always interested in having a chat!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston    
    Feb 19, 2016 3390
  • 17 Feb 2016
    Below is Localgiving’s response to the UK Cabinet Office’s recently announced plans to insert an ‘anti-advocacy’ clause into grant agreements. “Localgiving believes that a vibrant, empowered voluntary sector is an essential pillar of a healthy democracy. It is our concern that the recently announced ‘anti-advocacy clause’ has the potential to obstruct the ability of local charities to provide constructive feedback to government and effectively represent their beneficiaries. The clause, as currently worded, prohibits the use of grant funding for any activity which “attempts to influence government”. As it stands, we are wary that the clause’s wide scope could be interpreted in such a way that prevents grass-roots organisations with specialist, in-depth knowledge of their local communities from feeding that knowledge back to government. It is our belief that such a situation would be of detriment to society as a whole and, as such, further clarity is required to allay these concerns. In addition, our 2015 report into the sustainability of the local voluntary sector revealed that only 10% of local charities feel appreciated by central government. We are therefore apprehensive that this issue could have a negative impact on an already strained relationship. Once again, this situation highlights the need for voluntary sector organisations to diversify their funding sources. In an environment of restricted state funding, it is more vital than ever that charities explore alternative sources of income; enabling them to continue to deliver much needed services and accurately represent the issues facing local people on the ground."
  • Below is Localgiving’s response to the UK Cabinet Office’s recently announced plans to insert an ‘anti-advocacy’ clause into grant agreements. “Localgiving believes that a vibrant, empowered voluntary sector is an essential pillar of a healthy democracy. It is our concern that the recently announced ‘anti-advocacy clause’ has the potential to obstruct the ability of local charities to provide constructive feedback to government and effectively represent their beneficiaries. The clause, as currently worded, prohibits the use of grant funding for any activity which “attempts to influence government”. As it stands, we are wary that the clause’s wide scope could be interpreted in such a way that prevents grass-roots organisations with specialist, in-depth knowledge of their local communities from feeding that knowledge back to government. It is our belief that such a situation would be of detriment to society as a whole and, as such, further clarity is required to allay these concerns. In addition, our 2015 report into the sustainability of the local voluntary sector revealed that only 10% of local charities feel appreciated by central government. We are therefore apprehensive that this issue could have a negative impact on an already strained relationship. Once again, this situation highlights the need for voluntary sector organisations to diversify their funding sources. In an environment of restricted state funding, it is more vital than ever that charities explore alternative sources of income; enabling them to continue to deliver much needed services and accurately represent the issues facing local people on the ground."
    Feb 17, 2016 3534
  • 16 Feb 2016
    Felicity Christensen is the Communications & Events Manager at Small Charities Coalition - a national membership charity who help small charities access the skills, tools & information they need to get going and do what they do best. Whether you are a paid employee or volunteer in the charity sector, undoubtedly one of the key skills to crack is professional networking. Networking provides the opportunity to build up your professional contacts, share ideas and feel part of a wider working community outside the office. Here are the top 5 tips for getting the most out of networking events:   Find the good ones to go to – Eventbrite is a great place to find new networking events within the charity sector, as is Twitter, and they don’t even have to cost anything. (We regularly promote personally recommended small charity focussed networking events via the Small Charities Coalition E-bulletin.) Know how to introduce yourself – nobody needs reminding that first impressions count, so knowing how to introduce yourself well is a must. Keep it brief, to the point, and remember to smile! If you are representing a business be sure to have your elevator pitch ready. Be curious – asking questions not only helps to build connections with others but peer learning is a fun and informal way of sharing tips, sounding out ideas and potentially building useful relationships for the future. It gets better – like many new things the first time might be scary, but the more networking events you go to the more you will begin to see some familiar faces and begin to look forward to events as you see your network grow. It can be helpful to have personal goals set ahead of an event such as handing out a certain number of business cards or meeting a set number of new people. Be prepared - have business cards ready to share for follow-up conversations, and ask the organiser to share a list of attendees so you can get in contact afterwards. Social media is the fastest and least formal way to connect, so if you don’t have a Twitter or LinkedIn profile – make one   To see networking events that Eventbrite have to offer click here. The Charity Meetup events are popular and well-structured with fun ice-breakers.     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    4969 Posted by Felicity Christensen
  • Felicity Christensen is the Communications & Events Manager at Small Charities Coalition - a national membership charity who help small charities access the skills, tools & information they need to get going and do what they do best. Whether you are a paid employee or volunteer in the charity sector, undoubtedly one of the key skills to crack is professional networking. Networking provides the opportunity to build up your professional contacts, share ideas and feel part of a wider working community outside the office. Here are the top 5 tips for getting the most out of networking events:   Find the good ones to go to – Eventbrite is a great place to find new networking events within the charity sector, as is Twitter, and they don’t even have to cost anything. (We regularly promote personally recommended small charity focussed networking events via the Small Charities Coalition E-bulletin.) Know how to introduce yourself – nobody needs reminding that first impressions count, so knowing how to introduce yourself well is a must. Keep it brief, to the point, and remember to smile! If you are representing a business be sure to have your elevator pitch ready. Be curious – asking questions not only helps to build connections with others but peer learning is a fun and informal way of sharing tips, sounding out ideas and potentially building useful relationships for the future. It gets better – like many new things the first time might be scary, but the more networking events you go to the more you will begin to see some familiar faces and begin to look forward to events as you see your network grow. It can be helpful to have personal goals set ahead of an event such as handing out a certain number of business cards or meeting a set number of new people. Be prepared - have business cards ready to share for follow-up conversations, and ask the organiser to share a list of attendees so you can get in contact afterwards. Social media is the fastest and least formal way to connect, so if you don’t have a Twitter or LinkedIn profile – make one   To see networking events that Eventbrite have to offer click here. The Charity Meetup events are popular and well-structured with fun ice-breakers.     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    Feb 16, 2016 4969
  • 08 Feb 2016
    Last week, the Charity Engagement team hosted the first in a new series of workshops for small and local charities. This event was put on with the help of CAN Mezzanine, who provided the facilities and extended the invitation to their own users. This workshop, ‘Inspiring Online Fundraising’, was delivered to 15 London-based groups, made up of both Localgiving members and other small charitable organisation.  The workshop was based on our successful webinar of the same name which we hosted in advance of last year’s Local Hero campaign. The aim of the workshop was to provide groups with the following knowledge:   Awareness of the power of online fundraising How to find fundraisers both in your supporter base and further afield Having the confidence to know how to make an inspiring ask to fundraisers and donors How to support your fundraisers throughout their challenge How to convert fundraisers into long term supporters     The workshop was also a fantastic opportunity for the charities to network, share their experiences of fundraising and explore new ways to reach out to potential fundraisers and donors. The workshop was a great success. We recieved some fantastic feedback from the groups who attended and are looking forward to hosting our second workshop, 'Developing a Fundraising Plan', on 3rd March 2016. Local Hero We will also be repeating our ‘Inspiring Online Fundraisers’ webinar in advance of this year’s Local Hero campaign. Dates for the webinar are still to be arranged but we have recently released details of the campaign:   Running between 1st - 30th April, Local Hero is focused solely on fundraisers. In the course of the campaign, Localgiving will be awarding £5,000 in prizes to the causes supported by the top 20 fundraisers, with the top fundraiser securing a prize of £1,000 for their chosen cause! For more details about Local Hero, please click here 
    3790 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • Last week, the Charity Engagement team hosted the first in a new series of workshops for small and local charities. This event was put on with the help of CAN Mezzanine, who provided the facilities and extended the invitation to their own users. This workshop, ‘Inspiring Online Fundraising’, was delivered to 15 London-based groups, made up of both Localgiving members and other small charitable organisation.  The workshop was based on our successful webinar of the same name which we hosted in advance of last year’s Local Hero campaign. The aim of the workshop was to provide groups with the following knowledge:   Awareness of the power of online fundraising How to find fundraisers both in your supporter base and further afield Having the confidence to know how to make an inspiring ask to fundraisers and donors How to support your fundraisers throughout their challenge How to convert fundraisers into long term supporters     The workshop was also a fantastic opportunity for the charities to network, share their experiences of fundraising and explore new ways to reach out to potential fundraisers and donors. The workshop was a great success. We recieved some fantastic feedback from the groups who attended and are looking forward to hosting our second workshop, 'Developing a Fundraising Plan', on 3rd March 2016. Local Hero We will also be repeating our ‘Inspiring Online Fundraisers’ webinar in advance of this year’s Local Hero campaign. Dates for the webinar are still to be arranged but we have recently released details of the campaign:   Running between 1st - 30th April, Local Hero is focused solely on fundraisers. In the course of the campaign, Localgiving will be awarding £5,000 in prizes to the causes supported by the top 20 fundraisers, with the top fundraiser securing a prize of £1,000 for their chosen cause! For more details about Local Hero, please click here 
    Feb 08, 2016 3790
  • 03 Feb 2016
    It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s wet and Spring can’t come quickly enough. For most of us there is shelter and respite waiting at the end of a day, but not everyone is so lucky. Thousands of people across the UK do not have secure housing, forcing people to sleep rough on the streets or in overcrowded bed and breakfasts or squats. It is hard to quantify the amount of people affected by homelessness - a term which does not just apply to those who sleep rough. Many people sleep on the sofas of friends or family. This means they are not counted in official numbers, making it harder to campaign for policy changes. Some people are more susceptible to homelessness. Those that struggle with mental health issues, drugs or alcohol abuse, bereavement or criminal offenders can find that, after a breakdown of a relationship or family ties, they are without solid accomodation. The knock-on effect is that other aspects of life can easily spiral out of control resulting in lost jobs and decreased health, making it harder and harder to support oneself. Whatever the situation, there are hundreds of local voluntary organisations that are there to offer support and help people get back on their feet - offering shelter or hot food, skill development to support employment and building confidence for those who have hit rock bottom. Here is a list of Localgiving members who are doing just that: St Petroc’s Society, Cornwall - Provides safe environments for 50 individuals to have a place they can call home, as well as offering individuals access to a variety of accommodation and specialist support services Sussex Night Stop, Sussex - Find a temporary safe place for young people to stay, usually host families from other members of the community, while working to find permanent housing Street Football Wales, Swansea - Aims to help end homelessness and poverty by facilitating the integration of socially excluded people back into their community Ipswich Housing Action Group, Suffolk - Relieves need, hardship and distress amongst the homeless by providing accommodation and associated amenities Calderdale Smartmove, West Yorkshire - Provides accommodation for local vulnerable people as well as many different courses such as healthy lifestyles, growing your own fruit & veg, IT skills, help with reading and writing, managing money and training to become a volunteer Launchpad Reading, Berkshire - Helps disadvantaged people in Reading turn things around by providing a home, education, training and employment skills to help them move on in life and provides substance misuse support Action Foundation, Newcastle - Provides support and opportunities to help overcome exclusion, especially working with asylum seekers and refugees The Choir with No Name, London -  Helps marginalised people find their confidence and skills, make friends, and move forward in their lives through the joy of singing together in a choir YMCA Scotland, Edinburgh - Is committed to youth empowerment, supporting young people to achieve their full potential in life. One25, Bristol - 80% of the women selling sex on Bristol's streets are homeless. One25 reaches out to women trapped in/or vulnerable to street sex-work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. Big Breakfast +, Swindon - Provides the homeless of Swindon with a hot breakfast and access to outreach workers. These are just a few examples of the wide range of services and support available. Have a look and see what's happening in your local areas here.  Date for your diary: Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week, February 20th to 26th, has been set up to raise awareness of homelessness.https://www.bristol.gov.uk/homeless-awareness-week       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    4289 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s wet and Spring can’t come quickly enough. For most of us there is shelter and respite waiting at the end of a day, but not everyone is so lucky. Thousands of people across the UK do not have secure housing, forcing people to sleep rough on the streets or in overcrowded bed and breakfasts or squats. It is hard to quantify the amount of people affected by homelessness - a term which does not just apply to those who sleep rough. Many people sleep on the sofas of friends or family. This means they are not counted in official numbers, making it harder to campaign for policy changes. Some people are more susceptible to homelessness. Those that struggle with mental health issues, drugs or alcohol abuse, bereavement or criminal offenders can find that, after a breakdown of a relationship or family ties, they are without solid accomodation. The knock-on effect is that other aspects of life can easily spiral out of control resulting in lost jobs and decreased health, making it harder and harder to support oneself. Whatever the situation, there are hundreds of local voluntary organisations that are there to offer support and help people get back on their feet - offering shelter or hot food, skill development to support employment and building confidence for those who have hit rock bottom. Here is a list of Localgiving members who are doing just that: St Petroc’s Society, Cornwall - Provides safe environments for 50 individuals to have a place they can call home, as well as offering individuals access to a variety of accommodation and specialist support services Sussex Night Stop, Sussex - Find a temporary safe place for young people to stay, usually host families from other members of the community, while working to find permanent housing Street Football Wales, Swansea - Aims to help end homelessness and poverty by facilitating the integration of socially excluded people back into their community Ipswich Housing Action Group, Suffolk - Relieves need, hardship and distress amongst the homeless by providing accommodation and associated amenities Calderdale Smartmove, West Yorkshire - Provides accommodation for local vulnerable people as well as many different courses such as healthy lifestyles, growing your own fruit & veg, IT skills, help with reading and writing, managing money and training to become a volunteer Launchpad Reading, Berkshire - Helps disadvantaged people in Reading turn things around by providing a home, education, training and employment skills to help them move on in life and provides substance misuse support Action Foundation, Newcastle - Provides support and opportunities to help overcome exclusion, especially working with asylum seekers and refugees The Choir with No Name, London -  Helps marginalised people find their confidence and skills, make friends, and move forward in their lives through the joy of singing together in a choir YMCA Scotland, Edinburgh - Is committed to youth empowerment, supporting young people to achieve their full potential in life. One25, Bristol - 80% of the women selling sex on Bristol's streets are homeless. One25 reaches out to women trapped in/or vulnerable to street sex-work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction. Big Breakfast +, Swindon - Provides the homeless of Swindon with a hot breakfast and access to outreach workers. These are just a few examples of the wide range of services and support available. Have a look and see what's happening in your local areas here.  Date for your diary: Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week, February 20th to 26th, has been set up to raise awareness of homelessness.https://www.bristol.gov.uk/homeless-awareness-week       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro    
    Feb 03, 2016 4289
  • 28 Jan 2016
    Corrine Heaney loves all things digital. Currently completing her masters in Digital Media Communications at Ulster University. Media and Communications Manager for Save the Children Northern Ireland  | corrineheaney.com Technology has changed how we communicate. As it continues to evolve, how do we keep track of where are supporters are and what they are using? If you have big budgets you can pay for analysis of market trends and even employ an agency to pick out the very statistics you need but for smaller organisations, especially charities there just isn’t the money to pay for it. So how do you keep up to date with what media your supporters are using and find the most effective ways of communicating to them? The Communications Market Report is one useful FREE tool produced by OFCOM annually across the UK, with breakdowns for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It gives you the headline figures with useful summaries alongside the detailed report and analysis. So what does it tell us for the year ahead? ‘The UK is now a “smartphone society”. Something that probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but did you know our mobile phones have now become more popular than our laptop when it comes to getting online? This means your organisation needs to think about the information you are putting online. It looks different on a mobile or tablet compared to desktop, you need to focus on content with a smaller screen in mind. Whether that is on your website or on social media and the tailored apps they use. Be clear and consistent across the platforms and use relevant images as this increases engagement. The OFCOM Communications Market Report also covers TV, radio, telecoms and post which you can use to compare with online use. Adults spent on average nearly two hours online using a smartphone each day, but TV still takes up most of our time with 3 hours and 40 minutes a day. National differences In terms of the nations, the report tells us Scotland is becoming ‘more connected.’ 2014 saw the Scots “taking up smartphones at a faster rate than any other UK nation.” And by 2015 they are the most popular device for getting online and Scots have a higher than UK average for use of 4G service so they are using their phones on the move. Wales is leading the way in broadband connection. With significant investment, through government partnership, Wales now has the highest availability of superfast broadband of any of the devolved nations. In Northern Ireland, people spend the most time online, “up from 13.8 hours a week to 21.6 hours a week. This is above the UK average and highest of the four UK nations.”   Linking together information from this report alongside your organisation's statistics on supporters and engagements it can help provide a clearer picture on where and how you should be communicating with your supporters.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar     
    4390 Posted by Corrine Heaney
  • Corrine Heaney loves all things digital. Currently completing her masters in Digital Media Communications at Ulster University. Media and Communications Manager for Save the Children Northern Ireland  | corrineheaney.com Technology has changed how we communicate. As it continues to evolve, how do we keep track of where are supporters are and what they are using? If you have big budgets you can pay for analysis of market trends and even employ an agency to pick out the very statistics you need but for smaller organisations, especially charities there just isn’t the money to pay for it. So how do you keep up to date with what media your supporters are using and find the most effective ways of communicating to them? The Communications Market Report is one useful FREE tool produced by OFCOM annually across the UK, with breakdowns for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It gives you the headline figures with useful summaries alongside the detailed report and analysis. So what does it tell us for the year ahead? ‘The UK is now a “smartphone society”. Something that probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but did you know our mobile phones have now become more popular than our laptop when it comes to getting online? This means your organisation needs to think about the information you are putting online. It looks different on a mobile or tablet compared to desktop, you need to focus on content with a smaller screen in mind. Whether that is on your website or on social media and the tailored apps they use. Be clear and consistent across the platforms and use relevant images as this increases engagement. The OFCOM Communications Market Report also covers TV, radio, telecoms and post which you can use to compare with online use. Adults spent on average nearly two hours online using a smartphone each day, but TV still takes up most of our time with 3 hours and 40 minutes a day. National differences In terms of the nations, the report tells us Scotland is becoming ‘more connected.’ 2014 saw the Scots “taking up smartphones at a faster rate than any other UK nation.” And by 2015 they are the most popular device for getting online and Scots have a higher than UK average for use of 4G service so they are using their phones on the move. Wales is leading the way in broadband connection. With significant investment, through government partnership, Wales now has the highest availability of superfast broadband of any of the devolved nations. In Northern Ireland, people spend the most time online, “up from 13.8 hours a week to 21.6 hours a week. This is above the UK average and highest of the four UK nations.”   Linking together information from this report alongside your organisation's statistics on supporters and engagements it can help provide a clearer picture on where and how you should be communicating with your supporters.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar     
    Jan 28, 2016 4390
  • 27 Jan 2016
    On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    3827 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    Jan 27, 2016 3827
  • 25 Jan 2016
    Since founding Localgiving in 2009, Marcelle Speller OBE, has fought to ensure that grassroots charities and community groups from across the UK are given the recognition and support they need and deserve. We are delighted therefore to see Marcelle’s work once again endorsed through her inclusion in this year’s Debrett’s 500. For almost 250 years Debrett’s has given the spotlight to people of influence and achievement in British society. Each year Debrett’s 500 is compiled by independent panels of specialists. The 2016 list sees Marcelle included in the UK's twenty most influential “Philanthropists and activists” alongside such esteemed and inspirational people as Malala Yousafzai, Lord Sainsbury, Prince Harry and Layla Hussain. Steve Mallinson, Localgiving's Chief Executive, has said:  "It is brilliant to see our founder and Chairman  recognised in  Debrett's 500. It is a privilege to work alongside Marcelle and to witness her drive and passion on a daily basis. We hope that that this will inspire more people to find out about the local charities and causes that Marcelle cares so much about".    
    3807 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Since founding Localgiving in 2009, Marcelle Speller OBE, has fought to ensure that grassroots charities and community groups from across the UK are given the recognition and support they need and deserve. We are delighted therefore to see Marcelle’s work once again endorsed through her inclusion in this year’s Debrett’s 500. For almost 250 years Debrett’s has given the spotlight to people of influence and achievement in British society. Each year Debrett’s 500 is compiled by independent panels of specialists. The 2016 list sees Marcelle included in the UK's twenty most influential “Philanthropists and activists” alongside such esteemed and inspirational people as Malala Yousafzai, Lord Sainsbury, Prince Harry and Layla Hussain. Steve Mallinson, Localgiving's Chief Executive, has said:  "It is brilliant to see our founder and Chairman  recognised in  Debrett's 500. It is a privilege to work alongside Marcelle and to witness her drive and passion on a daily basis. We hope that that this will inspire more people to find out about the local charities and causes that Marcelle cares so much about".    
    Jan 25, 2016 3807
  • 22 Jan 2016
     One of Scotland’s most celebrated sons talked of things, wee, sleekit, cow'rin and tim'rous. But unlike one of Rabbie Burns’ most famous poems, Scottish fundraisers and donors, aren’t at all like the small mouse he described. Those who fundraise and who donate in Scotland, don’t cower away from doing so. Nor do they do it timidly.They certainly don’t seem to do so in ‘wee’ amounts either. Variety and Depth   Localgiving’s members work vigorously to support their communities throughout Scotland, they show the variety and depth of all that is good about us as a country and people - from the young in the North East, such as Brechin Youth Project, to the elderly in the South West, like Cowal Elderly Befrienders.  Even in areas such as sport or culture, there is great variety. In the same city, we have sports groups ranging from Glasgow Girls Football Club to Tir Conaill Harps. One using modern sport, one using traditional celtic sports, both having a huge impact on the community. What I see in the groups in Scotland using Localgiving to fundraise, couldn’t be further from “a panic in thy breastie”. They just seem to get the job done, even if the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. A Proud Scot While our groups differ in their services, causes and fundraising activities, their reach is always local. As you can imagine, I gain a great sense of pride in seeing new groups joining us and Localgiving’s presence in Scotland grow. As a proud Scot myself, with family spread far and wide across the country - it’s a wonderful feeling to see charity at work.   We’re a nation that has links across the world - people from far a wide have their roots on our shores. I can’t think of a better way to connect back home than to support charities who can do so much with even a little. So this Burns Night, while you raise a glass to your haggis, why not raise one to a local group and donate as well? You can search for a charity near you HERE. Our love for you really would be like a red, red rose!     Image: Statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries town centre. Taken by Ron Waller. Sculpture by Amelia Hill
    3603 Posted by Katie Ford
  •  One of Scotland’s most celebrated sons talked of things, wee, sleekit, cow'rin and tim'rous. But unlike one of Rabbie Burns’ most famous poems, Scottish fundraisers and donors, aren’t at all like the small mouse he described. Those who fundraise and who donate in Scotland, don’t cower away from doing so. Nor do they do it timidly.They certainly don’t seem to do so in ‘wee’ amounts either. Variety and Depth   Localgiving’s members work vigorously to support their communities throughout Scotland, they show the variety and depth of all that is good about us as a country and people - from the young in the North East, such as Brechin Youth Project, to the elderly in the South West, like Cowal Elderly Befrienders.  Even in areas such as sport or culture, there is great variety. In the same city, we have sports groups ranging from Glasgow Girls Football Club to Tir Conaill Harps. One using modern sport, one using traditional celtic sports, both having a huge impact on the community. What I see in the groups in Scotland using Localgiving to fundraise, couldn’t be further from “a panic in thy breastie”. They just seem to get the job done, even if the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. A Proud Scot While our groups differ in their services, causes and fundraising activities, their reach is always local. As you can imagine, I gain a great sense of pride in seeing new groups joining us and Localgiving’s presence in Scotland grow. As a proud Scot myself, with family spread far and wide across the country - it’s a wonderful feeling to see charity at work.   We’re a nation that has links across the world - people from far a wide have their roots on our shores. I can’t think of a better way to connect back home than to support charities who can do so much with even a little. So this Burns Night, while you raise a glass to your haggis, why not raise one to a local group and donate as well? You can search for a charity near you HERE. Our love for you really would be like a red, red rose!     Image: Statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries town centre. Taken by Ron Waller. Sculpture by Amelia Hill
    Jan 22, 2016 3603